Thursday’s first round exit at the hands of Kansas State was Southern Mississippi’s first Men’s NCAA basketball tournament appearance in in 11 eleven years, and just the third ever tourney entry in the school’s history. After the Golden Eagles’ band taunted K-State PG Angel Rodriguez (above) with chants of “where’s your green card?”, here’s hoping their futility continues until the end of time. The New York Times’ Roger Rubin provides details on Southern Miss’ mea culpa.
Representatives of the Southern Mississippi administration and the school’s band went to the hotel where the Kansas State team is headquartered on Thursday and apologized to Angel Rodriguez and coach Frank Martin for a racially-charged chant directed at Rodriguez during K-State’s 70-64 win over Southern Miss. Rodriguez accepted the apology.
“Yeah, I heard it. I heard it when I was shooting the free throw,” Rodriguez said Friday. “ I don’t pay attention to that nonsense, especially because Puerto Rico is a commonwealth, so we don’t need (any) type of papers.
“Their athletic director and the personnel from their school came to apologize. I accepted it because there’s ignorant people and I know that’s not how they want to represent their university. I moved on already. I got a game to focus on.”
“Let me applaud the administration of Southern Mississippi . . . Their administration made it a point to come to our hotel and look Angel in the eye,” Martin said. “Two of them were Southern Miss grads, and said ‘ Angel, as a Southern Miss grad, I apologize.’ For a grown man to do that to a young man, that’s a lot of class. I’m extremely thankful for the way they stood up.”